Is there really a difference between meal planning and meal prepping? YES! There most definitely is!
Let me break it down the easy way… Think about the words themselves. “Planning” and “Prepping”. I googled it for you. Here are the actual definitions.
the process of making plans for something
the action or process of preparing something, or preparing for something.
So why is this even important to know the difference?
Well, when it gets to the nitty-gritty, it’s not important at all. What matters is that you actually do it! BUT, you can’t prep without planning. AND, if you only plan and don’t prep, what’s the point? Do you see what I mean?
I hope that makes sense to you and helps clarify the importance of both. I know it’s short and sweet and to the point, but that is exactly what you need it to be, huh?
Meal Prepping can be super easy, or super hard. (Not to be confused with Meal Planning… (I will explain that later in another post)) It all depends on how you look at it. But, I am a fan of the saying, “Work Smarter, Not Harder” You see, I am a lazy girl at heart. So, if it’s too hard, I just won’t do it. That is why I decided to come up with some Dos and Don’ts that have helped me simplify my meal prepping.
Don’t overthink it.
Often we start to think about EVERYTHING that goes into meal prepping, and we talk ourselves out of it.
Don’t make different meals for every day.
Now you are just getting too complicated, and too expensive.
Don’t get crazy with your recipes.
If you are making a brand new, complicated recipe, you risk ruining making something you don’t like and wasting food.
Don’t buy expensive containers.
Yes, they might be cute. Chances are, they will end up getting ruined, or won’t fit in your lunch box. (True story, happened to me)
Don’t do it alone.
A: It’s more fun with a friend. B: You can share the cost and make it cheaper. C: It allows for more variety.
Clean out your fridge first.
Starting with a fresh, clean fridge will help you cook clean, good food.
Cook what you love.
This might be repetitive… But, you know how to cook it, and you know you will like it.
Make a plan ahead of time (AKA Meal PLANNING.. See what I just did there)
Things will go a lot faster when you have a clear set plan of what you are doing.
Wash all your dishes before you start
So, this one time, my friend came over to meal prep. Neither of us washed out containers, and we had to spend extra time cleaning everything before we started! Ugh…..
Try to stick to your plan, but allow for mishaps.
Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Just go with the flow.
Of course, everyone is going to do things differently!
The biggest thing to remember when meal prepping is that you are trying to simplify your life and free up time to do the things you love. In order to do that, you need to sacrifice a little time to prepare everything. I like to pick one day a week and devote about three hours to meal prep. It’s usually the same day and time every week. This time doesn’t include the planning. I can write another post sometime about how I plan my meals later.
So, yeah! There you have it, just some quick Dos and Don’ts that I have learned through my own struggles of meal prepping. Check out more posts like this in our Foodie Facts category, under Healthy Eats.
If you enjoyed this post, let us know! Like, share, and comment what your favorite meal to prep is. Mine is Taco Quinoa Bowls for lunch!